Topics & Assemblies

“So I really believe, guys, that we are in a war of Blobs versus Chunks. We are in a war between giant, unstructured blobs of content, and clean, well-structured fields of content that have metadata attached. We are in a war of Blobs versus Chunks. You all are on Team Chunk. We cannot let the blobs win.” — Karen McGrane

As platforms proliferated, WYSIWYG quickly became WYSIWTF.

Source: Topics & Assemblies | Contentful

Apple Flexes Its Privacy Muscles

While Google’s security is the best in the industry, equating that security with the kind of privacy that Apple offers is disingenuous at best.

Source: Apple Flexes Its Privacy Muscles – TidBITS

Storybook: UI component explorer for frontend developers

Storybook is a user interface development environment and playground for UI components. The tool enables developers to create components independently and showcase components interactively in an isolated development environment.

Storybook runs outside of the main app so users can develop UI components in isolation without worrying about app specific dependencies and requirements.

Source: Storybook: UI component explorer for frontend developers

Tracking-based ads, generally called adtech, do not sponsor publications

Getting the world to mistake direct marketing for real advertising is one of the great magic tricks of all time: a world record for misdirection in business.

Tracking-based ads, generally called adtech, do not sponsor publications. They use publications as holding pens in which human cattle can be injected with uninvited and unwelcome tracking files (generally called cookies) so their tracked eyeballs can be shot wherever they might show up with ads aimed by whatever surveillance data has been cleaned from those eyeballs’ travels about the Net.

Real advertising—the kind that makes brands and sponsors publications—doesn’t track people. Instead it is addressed to whole populations. In doing so it sponsors those media, and testifies to those media’s native worth. Tracking-based ads can’t and don’t do that.

Source: Doc Searls Weblog · Dear @WashingtonPost

A Plan to Stop Breaches With Dead Simple Database Encryption

In such a “client-side” encryption scheme, databases utilizing Field Level Encryption will not only require a system login, but will additionally require specific keys to process and decrypt specific chunks of data locally on a user’s device as needed. That means MongoDB itself and cloud providers won’t be able to access customer data, and a database’s administrators or remote managers don’t need to have access to everything either.

Source: A Plan to Stop Breaches With Dead Simple Database Encryption | WIRED

TikTok times a billion

In a major milestone for a Chinese technology company, the short-video app TikTok, known as Douyin (?? d?uy?n) in its home country, was downloaded over 1 billion times as of earlier this year. That’s according to statistics from Sensor Tower, a US company that tracks apps.

  • Chinese companies had already produced several mega-apps, including the social media-and-everything-else app WeChat that also has over one billion active users, but none of those apps has ever had global reach.
  • TikTok, by contrast, is an international sensation, with its addictive video algorithm making junkies out of millions from India to Thailand to the United States.
  • Tiktok’s parent company Bytedance, which originally was known for its news app Toutiao, now has more employees than Facebook.

Source: Weekly Briefing: TikTok times a billion; China’s gay capital; the China Space Station – SupChina

Cool API Tools

Jamstack 2019

Headless CMS

Static File Generator Frameworks



We Don’t Sell Saddles Here

We get 0 points for just getting a feature out the door if it is not actually contributing to making the experience better for users, or helping them to understand Slack, or helping us understand them. None of the work we are doing to develop the product is an end in itself; it all must be squarely aimed at the larger purpose.

Source: We Don’t Sell Saddles Here – Stewart Butterfield – Medium

Neal Stephenson – Why I Am a Bad Correspondent

Writing novels is hard, and requires vast, unbroken slabs of time. Four quiet hours is a resource that I can put to good use. Two slabs of time, each two hours long, might add up to the same four hours, but are not nearly as productive as an unbroken four. If I know that I am going to be interrupted, I can’t concentrate, and if I suspect that I might be interrupted, I can’t do anything at all. Likewise, several consecutive days with four-hour time-slabs in them give me a stretch of time in which I can write a decent book chapter, but the same number of hours spread out across a few weeks, with interruptions in between them, are nearly useless.

Another factor in this choice is that writing fiction every day seems to be an essential component in my sustaining good mental health. If I get blocked from writing fiction, I rapidly become depressed, and extremely unpleasant to be around. As long as I keep writing it, though, I am fit to be around other people. So all of the incentives point in the direction of devoting all available hours to fiction writing.

Source: Neal Stephenson – Why I Am a Bad Correspondent